TIFF 2007: Cassandra’s Smiley Face
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TIFF 2007: Cassandra’s Smiley Face

Today’s Contest:
For your chance to win one pair of tickets to Saturday’s screening of Just Like Home, directed by Lone Scherfig (Wilbur Wants To Kill Himself) at 11:00 p.m. at the Cumberland 3, email us your name at [email protected]. Winners will be randomly selected and notified by tomorrow morning with ticket pick-up information. This is our last contest and it’s one of the last films of the festival, so if you haven’t taken part yet, now’s your last chance!
Today’s Reviews:
Smiley Face
Destined to be the stoner flick, Gregg Araki has directed a surprisingly accessible broad comedy that’s driven by one fantastic performance, with Anna Faris possibly the only woman in cinema right now that could pull of a role as heavy in physical comedy and general absurdity as that of Jane F, a perma-stoned unemployed actress who accidentally eats a plate full of pot-laced cupcakes on the morning of a day of critical chores. There are superb cameos from John Krasinski, Danny Masterson and Adam Brody, too. The films real strength is accurately portraying the mind and actions of someone stoned out of their gourd rather than simply paying lip service, and while it kind-of evolves into a cautionary tale it’s cleverer than that. Araki’s direction is a little strange in this one (it introduces and then renders entirely obscure one alphabet-themed concept) but it’s consistently funny. 4/5
Cassandra’s Dream
“If we meet again someday, be kind.” So said writer/director Woody Allen at his first-ever appearance at the Toronto International Film Festival. He was speaking of his latest annual opus, once again set across the pond in London. Though it’s a serious one, with the Woody themes of guilt and death, it’s no Match Point. Two working-class English siblings (the Scottish Ewan McGregor and the Irish Colin Farrell) get involved in a bit of a financial pickle and need to cross a certain line in order to get themselves out of it, with the help of their wealthy uncle (Tom Wilkinson). After a dazzling set-up, the picture slowly fizzles out, with lax pacing and a plot spelled out one too many times. In spite of their decent performances, McGregor and Farrell’s dodgy East End accents are due to be laughed out of British cinemas. Features a churning musical score from Philip Glass. 2.5/5
Today’s Listings:
3:30 p.m. – Help Me Eros (Vanguard) – Review – Scotiabank 4
4:30 p.m. – Jar City (Contemporary World Cinema) – Review – Varsity 6
6:15 p.m. – Sad Vacation (Vanguard) – Scotiabank 14
7:45 p.m. – Programme 2 (Short Cuts Canada) – Review – ROM Theatre
8:45 p.m. – You, The Living (Visions) – Review – Varsity 6
10:00 p.m. – Smiley Face (Vanguard) – Scotiabank 1
10:00 p.m. – Operation Filmmaker (Cumberland 3) – Review – Cumberland 3
11:59 p.m. – Flash Point (Midnight Madness) – Ryerson Theatre